The Telegraph
Friday , February 1 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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We have a point to prove: Leander

New Delhi: The Indian debutants have a point to prove when they play South Korea in the Asia-Oceania group Davis Cup tie at the RK Khanna Stadium centre court from Friday, feels Leander Paes.

The veteran doubles star, the lone experienced hand in the home squad, is working out the strategy with his teammates and has told them to stay relaxed and do their best.

“There is always a point to prove. I have always believed that playing for the country is not everything but the only thing in the world,” said Paes. “It is all about staying relaxed and holding your nerves. Always have more than one game plan — A, B or C. If A fails, then quickly switch to B and don’t wait for too long,” Paes advised VM Ranjeet and Vijayant Malik.

Paes, who will pair up with Purav Raja in doubles, said in his 24 years of Davis Cup career, he has always believed in giving the best for the country. “In 24 years of my Davis Cup career, I have won some matches and lost some. But I always believed in giving my best,” he said.

Asked whether it would be his toughest Davis Cup tie, Paes said: “Not exactly. I think the Davis Cup tie against France in Frejus in 1993 was the toughest. Ramesh Krishnan lost the singles and I was playing the crucial fourth rubber.

“I looked at myself in the mirror in the locker room and said “this is it”. The French squad had top players like Henri Leconte, Rodolphe Gilbert and Arnaud Boetsch. I won the match against Boetsch to make it 2-2 and Ramesh won the deciding fifth rubber,” Paes recalled.

Meanwhile, Jurgen Melzer of Austria could be Leander Paes’ doubles partner for the next two months in the ATP circuit.